Opening Saturday: Isabella Kirkland & Patricia Piccinini
Isabella Kirkland, Phasmid Eggs
, 2021, oil on polyester over panel, 48 x 60 inches
Self-taught in the meticulous and time-consuming techniques developed by 17th century Dutch painters, Isabella Kirkland directs her technical proficiency and rarefied access to biological specimen collections and scientific experts towards illuminating the ecological instability inherent in the Anthropocene — and more specifically, the acute threat to Earth’s smallest creatures.
Isabella Kirkland, Empty Aegean
, 2016, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches
In the world of environmental activism and nature documentaries, much attention is given to the large, majestic animals facing habitat loss and extinction as a result of sea level rise, ocean warming and acidification, human encroachment and climate change. Kirkland instead turns her focus to the more minute organisms that tend to go unnoticed, but that make up the majority of the natural world. Though seemingly insignificant, the decline of any of these tiny creatures instigates a domino effect of ecological disruption and potential collapse.
Isabella Kirkland, Edibles
, 2021, oil on polyester over panel, 30 x 40 inches
A Bay Area artist having her first solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery, Kirkland purposefully chooses archaic methods to convey an urgently topical message. Her mode of depiction is an adaptation of the still life genre and 19th century natural history illustration — traditions revered for their accurate depictions of flora and fauna before the advent of photography. Executed in the enduring technique of the Dutch masters, Kirkland’s paintings enable a form of physical preservation of species that may otherwise soon disappear forever.
Several works in the exhibition document some of the 5.5 million butterflies at the African Butterfly Research Institute (ABRI), an organization based in Kenya and run by a single individual. The collection is comprised of about 4.5 million pinned, labeled specimens in boxes, sorted by genus, species, and locality, with another million unpinned and frozen, so that the DNA can be analyzed. The fate of this priceless repository of lepidopteric heritage remains precarious, and a campaign is underway to fund their efforts to donate the collection to one or more institutions that can ensure its long-term preservation. More information about ABRI will be available at the gallery during the exhibition, and a portion of the proceeds of the sale of these paintings will be donated to the institute.
Isabella Kirkland was born in Connecticut in 1954 and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1970s. Her work is in major museum collections throughout the United States, including the Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley, CA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), St. Louis Museum of Art, The Hood Museum of Art (Hanover, NH), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Philadelphia), Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT), Queens Museum (New York), Tang Museum (Saratoga Springs, NY), Toledo Art Museum (OH), Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick, NJ), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York).
Patricia Piccinini, The Awakening, 2019, still from digital video, duration: 9 minutes
In September of this year Hosfelt Gallery will show Piccinini’s most recent sculptures. In May, as a foretaste of that exhibition, Hosfelt is screening Piccinini’s new 9-minute digital animation, The Awakening — its premiere in the Americas. The Awakening is about something both quintessentially common and inordinately miraculous: birth. It is mesmerizing, beautiful and just a little bit frightening.
Patricia Piccinini, The Struggle
, 2017, fiberglass, auto paint, leather, steel, scooter parts, 78 3/4 x 94 1/2 x 47 1/4 inches
Patricia Piccinini creates some of the most surprising, provocative and pertinent artworks of our time. Famous for her life-like, chimeric creatures, anthropomorphic sculptures made of fiberglass and extraordinarily elaborate auto body paint jobs, and sculptural hot air balloons, Piccinini raises questions about how we define “human” and how we resolve the complex bio-ethical issues of our rapidly changing world.
Patricia Piccinini, Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, image courtesy of Canberra Times
Based in Melbourne, Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965, Freetown, Sierra Leone) represented Australia in the 2003 Venice Biennale. Her sculpture, video, drawing and installations have been exhibited extensively internationally, including most recently in solo museum exhibitions in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, Brazil, and throughout Australia.
Patricia Piccinini, Bottom Feeder, 2009, silicone, fiberglass, steel, fox fur, 17 3/4 x 15 3/4 x 26 inches
Rina Banerjee on 8-Bridges
Rina Banerjee, Warm marigolds, floating homeland, how much further from where I began can I travel in either direction away, away, within reminders of being foreign fading into salty horizons., 2021, acrylic on paper, 15 x 11 inches
8-Bridges, a platform that brings the Bay Area art world together, is honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a curated selection of artists from the Asian diaspora. Work by Rina Banerjee will be featured in the exhibition, that will go live at 8-bridges.com
on May 1st.
Rina Banerjee, Lady of Commerce. Hers is a transparent beauty, her eager sounds, her infinite and clamorous land and river, ocean and island, earth and sky...all contained, bottled for delivery to an open hole, a commerce so large her arms stretched wide and her sulfurous halo,
2012, wood figurine, vintage glass bottles, chandelier ornaments, birdcage, steel, wood pedestal, lace, cowry shells, taxidermy deer paws, Indian marriage jewelry, ostrich eggshells, porcelain doll hands, silver leaf, gold leaf, wire, linen cord, and marble baby doll hands, diameter 48 inches
Rina Banerjee, who was born in Kolkata, India and lives in New York, works with a cosmopolitan eclecticism that reflects both her transnational background and her sophisticated understanding of the narrative power of objects. Using trinkets made for the tourist trade — horn, bone, feathers, shells, textiles, glass bottles and antiques — she assembles rapturous sculptures that are mystifyingly shamanistic, yet overflowing with connotation. Her works are hyper-ornamented and lushly seductive. Conjoining rarities with cheap, mass-produced bric-a-brac, she appropriates extravagantly while rejecting hierarchies of material, culture and value.
In Banerjee’s paintings and delicate drawings on paper, female figures float in ethereal landscapes, often in states of transformation or with hybrid features of birds and beasts. Her titles are long, free-form refrains that immerse the viewer in the physical and emotional space of the work, heightening its quasi-mystical magnetism.
Cornelius Völker, Cocktail
, 2009, watercolor and graphite on paper, 16 7/8 x 13 1/4 inches
Cornelius Völker chooses the traditional genre of the still life to explore and decode the history of representational painting. He adopts subject matter that has been used by painters for centuries to best exhibit their proficiency. In this series of watercolor paintings of cocktails, he represents glass, liquid, and ice in a demonstration of the fluidity and transparency of the medium itself.
Byron’s Baking Powder Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk kefir (or buttermilk)
Combine dry ingredients. Then, using a coarse grater, grate the butter into the dry mixture and quickly and gently smush it in with your hands. Slowly blend in the kefir, producing a sticky dough. On a floured surface, pat the dough into a 1/2 inch thick slab, fold it in half and repeat 5 times, taking care to handle the dough as little as possible. Cut it into 2 1/2 inch squares, then brush each biscuit with a bit more kefir. Bake approximately 14 minutes, until golden.
is located at 260 Utah St, between 15th & 16th streets. Wheelchair accessible entrance at 255A Potrero Avenue. For more information call 415.495.5454 or visit hosfeltgallery.com
.Open Tuesday through Saturday
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